The next generation of mobile connectivity is slowly approaching its implementation stage. While 5G carries a lot of promise in theory – it’s expected to transmit over 1 gigabit per second – it also requires strenuous testing before mobile carriers worldwide are able to make the switch.  Orange and Huawei have decided to join forces for the next stage of preparing for the launch of the technology in Poland. The companies have decided to launch a 5G station in Gliwice in order to find out how the network will fare in an urban setting.

In order to assess the influence of a dense urban environment and city-specific atmospheric conditions, the engineers have decided to use Huawei’s Massive MIMO antenna. According to Orange’s press release, the antennae currently used to support 4G pose no challenge for the device, which consists of several dozens of elements responsible for sending and receiving signal. To put things in perspective, the ones we’ve seen in use thus far, were capable of using a maximum of four of those.

The implementation of 5G will bring a qualitative change. It will not only benefit individual users, but also the industry or, more broadly, the entire economy. In order to launch a new generation of mobile network efficiently and effectively, we need clear rules of the game, arranging matters such as frequencies, electromagnetic standards, or the investment process. We are looking forward to discussions with the government and telecom authority regarding the regulation of these issues – said Jean-François Fallacher, CEO of Orange Poland.

As for the first results, the engineers have reported achieving network speeds of 1.8 Gbps in laboratory conditions, with a small distance set between the transmitting station and a commercial-grade 5G modem provided by Huawei. In comparison, the team was able to reach a 1.5 Gbps speed during the field tests, conducted with a larger distance, and using a 100 MHz channel. The numbers represent a nearly 50% increase in speed in comparison to the current 4G transfer speed available for Orange’s clients in Poland.

The mobile Internet will enter a new era in which the communication of all devices will be the driving force of the digital transformation of the industry. In turn, our company plans to launch 5G smartphones in order to introduce our customers to the mobile network of a new generation. At Huawei, we want to support the Polish Government and entrepreneurs in order to introduce new solutions for society. The collaboration with Orange is very important for us, and we are convinced that thanks to the joint efforts in the implementation of 5G, Poland is becoming the leader in the use of the latest ICT solutions,” said Tonny Bao, managing director of Huawei Poland.

The two companies are planning to continue their field tests in Gliwice in order to perfect the technology before it reaches the stage of a large scale roll-out. While most of us will still need to wait until 2020 before we can experience the speed of 5G on our own mobile devices, it sure sounds like it’ll be worth the wait.